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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Tuesday - July 29, 2008

From: Fort Walton Beach, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives, Plant Laws, Container Gardens
Title: Regulations for transporting plants to Texas from Florida
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We are relocating to TX from FL, I have a collection of potted palm trees and quite a few potted tropical plants (none are invasive)that I would like to bring with us, we will be traveling by car and truck, is there any particular plants that are not allowed or laws prohibiting me from bringing them across state lines?

ANSWER:

There are, indeed, regulations about what plants you can move across state lines and into Texas. First of all, you can visit the National Plant Board Laws and Regulation page to find the regulations for each state. The Texas Summary of Plant Protection Regulations has an extensive list of plants that are prohibited because of disease, possibility of insect or other pest infestation, or invasiveness. Any kind of citrus importation is strictly prohibited. More relevant to your interests, however, is the section on "Lethal Yellowing" which involves a large number of palm trees. Also, one new pest of concern for plants from Florida is the red palm mite. I talked with Dr. Awinash Bhatkar, Coordinator for Plant Quality at the Texas Department of Agriculture, and he told me that generally plants that have been houseplants and only grown in artificial media (not grown in Florida soils) are not considered a threat. You can contact Dr. Bhatkar (512-463-5025 if you have further questions. Contact the Florida Department of Agriculture to have your plants inspected and certified as disease- and pest-free and you shouldn't have any problems moving your plants to Texas or through Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. You might also like to read the information and helpful advice from Rossiter Relocation Services about Moving with House Plants. Thank you for being responsible and conscientious about moving your plants.

 

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